The realities of working from home during lockdown and beyond
Tales from the white-collar workforce
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way a lot of us work. For the most part for office workers and other white-collar workers this has meant working from home. A long-held dream for many and an absolute nightmare for others, it has nevertheless become the reality.
What has become clear is that just like office working, working from home has its ups and downs. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the common complaints about working from home. But first, some of the much-lauded benefits.
The commute to work is often the worst part. Jamming onto a packed Tube train, waiting in the rain for a delayed bus or sitting for hours in traffic is fun for no one. Working from home has meant sweet relief for many. Rolling out of bed, having a cup of coffee and firing up the laptop is much more civilised.
More family time
More time at home and less at work on the commute means more time to spend with your partner, kids or other family members. That’s always a good thing.
Wear what you want (except during video meetings), work from your front room, your own kitchen and bathroom on hand and no one microwaving fish in the breakout space. Bliss.
Working from home is more conducive to more flexible working, allowing you to build your workday around the other aspects of your life.
It all sounds rather nice and some have been loving it. But for others, there have been more negative aspects than good ones. For example….
With the kids screaming and constantly wanting attention, the TV and internet on hand, a fully loaded fridge – you’ll be able to find a million reasons not to do your work.
Many people have been shocked to find they miss the camaraderie and friendship of the office. Sitting at home on your own all day with just a laptop means you miss out on the banter, sharing of ideas and general companionship that comes from working as part of a team. Even people who never thought they would miss it, have done.
Some have found it harder to work in a collaborative way without the presence of teammates to fire ideas off. This has made working on big projects more difficult.
As you can see, there are good and bad points about working remotely but the key difference between them is that it is possible to improve team dynamics and collaboration through improved remote working practice. However, missing out on the commute and gaining important family time are priceless. All in all, working from home has been positive for most, and with a little ironing out of issues, teams will once again begin to function effectively.